Silent Hill Review

I must dedicate this Silent Hill review to From Earth who wrote hilarious Let’s Play of it. Without his LPs I doubt I would have become as interested in the Franchise as I am.

Silent Hill 1 Cover Art

Console: PS1
Were you scared? Yes.
How can you be scared of a PS1 game? The graphics don’t make this game scary, but pretty much everything else does.

I played Silent Hill to prove I could play a scary game without crying or crapping myself. I succeeded. I shaked and my palms sweated but I succeeded.

Here’s the summary of my experience with the game via Twitter:

Reasoning: I found the controls of this game really clunky and difficult to get used to. I’m used to a game where if you push left, the character moves to YOUR left. In Silent Hill, Harry (the protagonist) will move to his left. It’s also been a while since I’ve played a game that involves combat – it took me a few attempts to be able to kill these guys (first enemies in the game).

Silent Hill Dog House No dog Around Screenshot

No… dog?

Silent Hill Flying Enemy

Flying Bastards

Scary Noises were the main reason I wanted to scream and cry while playing this game. As you can see, the graphics aren’t scary. However, you get a radio that emits static whenever a monster approaches. And some rooms just make scary noises to freak you out. The music involves lots of clanking and scary noises and honestly, well done to the sound guys because that’s the primary reason I had to stop playing – scary noise, can’t go on.

Silent Hill Clock Tower

This Clock Tower! It made the worst noise!

Ah, the famous “Otherworld”. When the sirens blared, that meant that Silent Hill was about to turn from creepy foggy ghost town into horrific, rust and blood covered nightmare town. It’s about 10 times scarier! The worst level for me wasn’t a “level” it was just navigating the town when it had turned to the “Otherworld” – enemies were stronger, there was a lot more blocking your path and there was about 10 times the scary noises!

Silent Hill Hospital Other World

That is one grubby hospital

Bosses in Silent Hill were difficult for me because I just sucked so much at the combat. This is the first boss by the way, a giant dick monster. When it opens its mouth it sucks you in and kills you in one hit. Oh yeah and it looks like a vagina on the inside.

Silent Hill Split Head boss

That’s a penis monster

Silent Hill Split Head Open

And when it opens up it looks like this…

Oh yes, if there was more than one monster around I’d probably die. For me, the scariest parts of the game were the parts I didn’t have a map for. I wanted to cry.

However, the nurse/doctor enemies were the least scary and probably the easiest to hit.

Silent Hill 1 Nurse

Silent Hill Nurses don’t actually look very scary

Silent Hill 1 Doctor Enemy

The Doctors are hilarious

Seriously – at the end of the game it tells you your time and how many times you saved. I saved on average… once every 3 minutes. I am a wuss!

Silent Hill 1 Save Point

You save by writing in Note books

Yep. This is what happened: I went into a shopping mall in the “Otherworld” and my radio was making noise – I was trying to find the monster, and go up an escalator and BOOM, this happens

Silent Hill 1 shopping Mall Screens


Basically: All the TVs in the room suddenly turn on and there’s Harry’s lost daughter….

Uh, don’t know why this ever happened. I was scared. Here’s a picture of a Pyramid Head cosplayer in the fog. (He’s not in this game).

Pyramid Head Cosplayer Fog Island

Apparently it was just a random foggy night, and this guy went to stand in the middle of the street for a while…

Sewer levels!? Of course! Dark, dank, creepy – but not as creepy as most of the other levels, and you’re mostly running in a straight line.

Silent Hill 1 Sewer

Keep out? Good idea, let’s leave.

Silent Hill has a fair few puzzles – and they are quite hard. Many are “find object, put object here, unlock thing, progress” but I remember one from quite early on in the game which was “guess which piano keys to press” based on a poem. There is a lot of reading base puzzles in subsequent games, but this one isn’t so bad for it.

The puzzle I was stuck on was this:

Silent Hill Astrology Puzzle Libra

Scales, Libra, two…?

Essentially you had some astrology based tiles, and you had to choose a number based on the picture you were shown. The Astrology gimmick was irrelevant – it was just the number of legs the picture had. The Libra one… I think it’s there to throw you off…

I was so proud when I finished this game. Even if I got the worst ending possible. That is, Harry dies and the events of the game are a dying dream (he crashes his car right at the start).

Harry Mason Silent Hill 1 Bad Ending

Sorry Harry

In the end, I’m happy I played it – the story is interesting and messed up. I did actually feel for the characters – Harry, who has lost his daughter and is going through hell to find her (and is eventually forced to kill her), Cybil, the police officer who isn’t involved in any of the strange goings on and ends up possessed (and if you don’t find a certain item, you have to kill her) and Lisa, a nurse who you only meet in the “Otherworld” who realises towards the end that she’s actually been possessed the whole time.

The rest of the characters are jerks though. However, even if I did stumble upon this:

Silent Hill Doctor Michael Kaufmann

Dr. K! You’re a douche!

I’d be glad, because it’s another person, as opposed to well…

Silent Hill 1 All Monsters List

Fun times.

And finding a locked door was always great because it meant that was one less room to explore!

How do the rest of you get on with scary games?


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  5. Cit152_RC says:

    I enjoyed reading your review of this game. I found that the feelings and atmosphere made the game great, even though many would say that the game was just old and awkward. You made some great points about the sound and music being the creepiest part of the game. Congratulations on beating it! I don’t mean to open up a can of worms, but I consider SH2 to be the best in the series. Have you played it?

    • Emma says:

      I do own SH2 and I really want to play it! I might just wait until summer haha! I’d quite like to play SH3 as well (since it’s more of a sequel to SH1’s storyline) but let me see if I can get past SH2 without crying!!

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